ADA, OK – In the first overtime game of the season for the East Central University men's basketball team, senior Colby Carr hit a triple with four seconds remaining to lift the Tigers past Southern Nazarene, 62-61, in Great American Conference action at the Kerr Activities Center.
The Tigers (9-6, 6-3 GAC) were paced by junior Brandon Lucas, who tallied 24 points and added seven boards. Carr contributed 12 points and eight boards, while freshman Aly Hudgins garnered 11 points and nine boards.
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The tempo for the game was set in the opening minutes, with both teams holding strong on defense and not allowing their opponent to score until ECU hit a bucket with 17:36 remaining. Over the next three minutes the Tigers pulled ahead with an 8-2 run. However, the Crimson Storm countered with a 13-1 run of their own to take the lead.
SNU held onto a two to six-point lead until the final four minutes of the half. After the Crimson Storm were leading 18-23, the Tigers used a 5-0 run to force a tie at 23 at the intermission.
The Crimson Storm used an 11-5 run, in the first 4:30 of the second half, to take a 28-34 advantage. SNU kept the advantage between two and six points for the next four minutes before a 9-0 run by the Tigers gave them a 44-41 lead, with 9:45 left.
The teams then battled through the final minutes of regulation, with three more tie scores or a slight ECU advantage. The Crimson Storm earned a lay-up with 21 seconds remaining to tie the game at 54. The Tigers had two chances to win the game in regulation, but fell just short and were forced into the extra five minutes of play.
ECU started out on the right track, hitting a triple 33 seconds in to the extra stanza. However, SNU then went on a 4-0 run to take a 57-58 lead, with 3:17 left to play. The teams traded the next two shots and the Crimson Storm were leading 61-59, with 1:23 left on the clock.
Both teams missed shots over the next minute and then a foul left Quan Conner on the free throw line, with 13 seconds left for a one-and-one. Conner missed the first shot and ECU rebounded and took a time out with 10 seconds left.
After the break the Tigers inbounded the ball on the sideline and found Carr for an off-center triple attempt that he hit for the game-winning shot, with four seconds left. The Crimson Storm had one last chance to win the game, but a last second three fell short.
The game was close across the box score, with ECU holding a slight advantage in shooting percentage (41.1 to 36.4) and at the charity stripe (8-of-13 to 4-of-7).
The Tigers will now get the weekend off before facing their final new opponent of the regular season when they travel to Southeastern Oklahoma State, Wednesday, Jan. 22 for a 7:30 p.m. tip.